2015 Legislative Directory

UW_Day_at_Capitol13_1390PROFS has compiled an extensive list of legislative contacts in an easy-to-use pdf (below) .

The printable document includes hotlinks to email addresses and websites, along with addresses and phone numbers of key legislators. A link to the directory is always available just below the PROFS logo on the website.

The list includes the governor; Dane County legislators; Assembly and Senate leadership; and members of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities, the Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges, and the Joint Committee on Finance.

On Point with Tom Ashbrook: Testing The ‘Wisconsin Idea’ Of Public Higher Education

on point logo

Today’s first hour of On Point, a National Public Radio radio talk show hosted by Tom Ashbrook, featured a discussion of the Wisconsin Idea, Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget cuts for the University of Wisconsin System, and how they relate to the the governor’s national political ambitions. Audio is below.

University of Wisconsin-Madison history professor John Sharpless and academic staff member Noel Radomski, director of WISCAPE, were joined on the panel by two members of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel staff — higher education reporter Karen Herzog and columnist/blogger Christian Schneider.

Spring Primary Election Today

Election_Day_voting12_5570Voters throughout Wisconsin may vote in spring primary elections until 8 pm this evening.

Information on registration and voting in Wisconsin is available here. Photo identification is not required to vote.

PROFS is watching a few races today:

Senate District 20 Three Republicans are vying to replace former State Senator Glenn Grothman who was elected to Congress in November:

  • Former State Representative Duey Stroebel
  • Ozaukee County Chairman Lee Schlenvogt
  • Veteran Tiffany Koehler

No Democrat is on the April ballot, so today’s primary winner is all but guaranteed to win later this spring, increasing the Republican majority to 19-14.

Waukesha County Executive State Senator Paul Farrow of Waukesha is one of four Republican candidates. Farrow said if elected he will remain in the Senate through the state budget process.

Madison Mayor Incumbent Mayor Paul Soglin faces four challengers today:

  • former Dane County Board member Richard Brown
  • activist Christopher Daly
  • former alderperson Bridget Maniaci
  • Alderman Scott Resnick

The top two vote-getters will be on the April ballot.



Regent President Michael Falbo on Increasing Faculty Workload

Michael Falbo

Michael Falbo

Michael Falbo, President of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, recently spoke with WisconsinEye senior producer Steve Walters. A two minute video excerpt is below.

The pair discussed Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposal, including the governor’s recent remark that the university’s budget situation could be improved if faculty taught one additional class each semester.

When asked to react to the governor’s remark, Falbo said, “certainly it’s true if they (faculty) taught another class there would be some efficiencies from that.” Falbo went on to say any changes to faculty workload would not happen quickly and would be the result of a collaborative process with all involved.

The full 18 minute video interview is here:

UW System President Ray Cross: Proposed Cuts Would Seriously Damage System

University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross appeared on UpFront with Mike Gousha Sunday, February 8. Video is below.

Cross told Gousha that the $300 million proposed cut could seriously damage System campuses, citing recruitment and retention of faculty at UW-Madison a large concern.

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank told the Board of Regents last week that two high-profile candidates withdrew their names from consideration for faculty positions recently, each citing state budget turmoil as a factor. Cross said these examples are very troubling.

Cross believes that a $300 million cut is not inevitable and said that he, along with the Board of Regents, will work in the coming weeks to convince legislators to lessen the cuts.


Chancellor Blank to Board of Regents: These Cuts are Too Large

University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank addressed the UW System Board of Regents yesterday, first touting the accomplishments of the university, but ultimately sharing her fear that proposed budget cuts could seriously harm the institution.

UW-Madison faces a $91 million budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year:

  • $23 million continuing cut from 2013
  • $57 million proposed cut (UW-Madison’s historic share of UW System total)
  • $3.5 million loss due to elimination of state funding for the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative
  • $2.5 million loss due to the elimination of municipal service payments by the state
  • $5 million set aside for faculty retention

The chancellor likened the cut to 650 faculty positions or 1,083 staff positions. That amount would also fund five of the university’s smaller colleges — Business, Law, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine.

Blank told regents that raising tuition at the professional schools and out-of-state students could bring in $18.5 million per year. Raising the cap on out-of-state students from 27.5 percent to 30 percent would add almost $19 million a year. Even with these additional revenue streams, less than half of the anticipated funding gap would be filled, resulting in major cuts to faculty and staff as well as student support services.

Blank is especially concerned that faculty at UW-Madison will be an easy target for recruitment by other top universities. Faculty salaries lag behind peers, and the median salary offer by a competitor last year was 42% higher than the UW-Madison salary. The chancellor told the regents the current budget situation has caused the university to lose three potential hires in the past week, including one nationally known researcher.

Blank closed her remarks with the following:

“Never has higher education been more important to the young people around the state. These cuts are too large. They are too large for the state. They are too large for the university.”